The First Agreement For Cine Workers Welfare
-A Flashback by Opender Chanana
“From 1966 to 2015 MOU was the guiding spirit and held sacrosanct.Why it couldn’t be renewed after 2015 when I had drafted it on behalf of all unions require another article. Thereafter, its been a struggle for workforce which finds itself VOICELESS. It is yet to be seen if 4 LABOUR CODES provide social security & better working conditions…..”—-Opender Chanana
Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association
The Film Producers Guild of India Ltd.
Federation of Western India Cine Employees(FWICE)
FWICE, the apex body of all craft unions has been negotiating with all Producers bodies since last few months to sign a fresh MOU. Very few know that although we belong to unorganized sector, the MOU continues to define the relationship between workers, technicians and Producers ever since it was first signed on 18th of March, 1966. In the eyes of laws this important document is considered sacrosanct as it records not only the minimum wages in the absence of contract but also the working conditions. By adhering strictly to the norm of member to member working rule that ensures that Producers employ or engage only bonafide members of affiliates the large workforce and employers have maintained their non-political character. I reproduce here the first agreement for the purpose of analyzing as to how far we have travelled in defining the relationship between Employers and Employees and catering to the aspirations of a large workforce. While some issues continue to be cause of concern there are others which have been amicably resolved.
This agreement is made on 18th day of March, 1966, between the INDIAN MOTION PICTURES PRODUCERS’ ASSOCIATION, an association of film producers duly registered as a company under the Indian Companies Act of 1913, having it registered offices at Sandhurst Building, V. Patel Road, Bombay-4, acting through its President, and the FILM PRODUCERS’ GUILD OF INDIA LTD., another association of film producers, duly registered as a company and having its registered offices at Rajkamal Studio, Parel, Bombay-12, also acting through its President, hereinafter referred to jointly as “the Employers” of the one part, and the FEDERATION OF WESTERN INDIA CINE EMPLOYEES, a federation of different craft unions of film workers and duly registered as a Trade Union and having its registered offices at 231, Famous Cine Studios & Laboratories Building, Haines Road, Mahalaxmi, Bombay-11, hereinafter referred to for the sake of brevity as the “Federation”, of the other part.
WHEREAS, both the Employers and the Federation are desirous, in the interests of harmonious relations, of forming a Joint Dispute Settlement machinery for the mutual settlement of disputes between the employers and the workers in the film industry-employed in the region known as Western India, it is hereby agreed:
(1)That the Employers recognize the Federation as the sole representative organization of the crafts as represented by the Federation’s affiliates as on date, and the Employers further agree that they shall not recognize any trade union or similar body that may come into existence in the future as representative of any or all of the crafts already affiliated to the Federation subject to the provisions of any code of discipline in which the parties hereto have subscribed.
(2) That the Employers agree to fully co-operate with the Federation in the enforcement of any action the Federation and/or its affiliates decide to take against any employee belonging to the craft or crafts represented by the affiliated unions.
(3) That it shall be the duty of the Employers and their members, on employment by them of any member of the Federation or its affiliates, unions, to issue in writing a contract or letter of appointment, stating therein in unambiguous terms all necessary details, such as the date of commencement of employment, duration of employment, amount of emoluments, mode of payment, nature of work, etc., and further that such contract or letter of employment shall be issued before the commencement of the duties relating to the contract or letter of appointment.
(4) That in case any member of the Federation or its affiliates refuses or delays in accepting such a contract or letter of appointment, as state in clause 3 above, the Employers or their member concerned shall forthwith draw the attention of the Federation or of its particular affiliate concerned, but this shall be done always before the commencement of the duties relating to the contract or letter of appointment. It is also agreed that if this notification is not attended to within a reasonable time by either the Federation or its affiliate concerned, the member who refuses to accept the letter of appointment or contract, shall forfeit all his rights that may otherwise have accrued, should a dispute arise regarding such an employment at a later stage.
(5) That in case of employments where no letter of appointment or contract has been issued, and also if no notice of non-acceptance by the member has been duly issued to the Federation and/or its affiliates, should a dispute arise regarding such employment, provided always that sufficient proof of the employment is available, such dispute shall be adjudged solely on the basis of the existing rules and regulations and minimum rates prescribed by the individual affiliate concerned, as per schedule attached.
(6) That the representatives of the Employers and the Federation shall meet and discuss as to any amendments to such rules and regulations and minimum rates prescribed by the affiliates as above but it is understood that until any final agreement is arrived at and reduced to writing, the present rules and regulations and rates, shall be held as valid in settlement of all disputes for the purpose of clause 5.
(7) That a Joint Dispute Settlement Committee shall be formed herewith, consisting of a minimum two but not more than four members representing jointly the IMPPA and the Guild, and an equal number of members representing the Federation. Every meeting shall elect its own Chairman for the day and such a Chairman shall have only a casting vote. All decisions arrived at, at such meetings shall be final and no appeal shall be entertained.
(8) That the names of first members, as above, shall be duly furnished by the Employers and the Federation, in the first instance, not later than a fortnight from the date of this Agreement, from which date the Joint Dispute Settlement Committee will be deemed to have come into existence. Thereafter any change that may be necessary will be duly intimated before the meeting.
(9) That this agreement shall be deemed to be for a period of one year from date, and thereafter shall automatically stand renewed until such time either the Employers or the Federation desire its termination by giving notice in writing, but in that case, a clear three months’ notice must be given by the party desiring termination.
(10) That it is fully agreed that the expressions Employers and the Federation, as used above, shall unless repugnant, to the context, be deemed to be as represented by either of the two Presidents of IMPPA and the Guild for the time being or their successors in office, and by the President of the Federation also for the time being or by his successor, or by whosoever the Presidents may duly authorize in writing on the letter heads of their respective organizations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have set their hands this day and the year above mentioned.
B.R. CHOPRA G.P. SIPPY
Vice President President
- K. MENON EMPLOYERS
- SOMNATH KRISHNA GOPAL President
Dated 18th March 1966.
Opender Chanana ,an acclaimed documentary maker goes for flash book of The First Agreement For Cine Workers Welfare with The Global Talk Media .Public comments are welcome to take discussion forward .
Opender Chanana’s 350 plus international award winning documentary LIVING ON THE EDGE- BOLLYWOOD has awakened the world on the plight & unending struggle of cine workers who too are struggling to lead life with dignity and reclaim their legitimate rights.
Mr. Chanana is an alumnus of Satish Chander Dhawan Government College,Ludhiana-India.This premier institution completes t’s 100th year of establishment.
He has been associated with Drama- and Cinema right since college days and was also awarded college colour then.